If I Could Be Serious…

February 17, 2018

Things I’ve Learned While Painting

Part II: No Joking Matter

I don’t want to pick on Games Workshop, but since that was the miniatures company that I spent most of my time following, it might seem like it. I’m not attacking them, in fact what I’m about to talk about has been addressed by them many times. There are other companies that have done this as well, too, so there’s that.

The overall theme, feeling, and design of Warhammer 40K used to be fairly tongue in cheek. It was a serious game, no doubt, but there was still a lot of goofy stuff. Squats, for instance, were humans who colonized a low gravity world and turned into “space dwarfs” and worked as miners (hmm, sound familiar?) and their main mode of battle transportation was with motorcycles. It had the possibility to be really badass, but ended up looking rather silly.

Chaos had Noise Marines (still does, actually). They played electric guitars that fired sonic blasts at the enemy. Now they’re just some type of gun. Orks were kooky and big ol’ dummies. The list goes on.

And that’s just the storyline stuff.

While a lot of effort went into the sculpting of the miniatures, there was a more cartoony aspect to them. Compare something from 20 years ago to now. It’s sharper, more defined and detailed (hey, like my last post said!), and just a lot more serious. Other companies did this too; look up galleries online of old fantasy miniatures and you’ll see quality and craftsmanship that pales in comparison to what’s out there now.

I feel proud to paint and put together miniatures that were well thought out and crafted. I know that when I give it my best and put 100% into it, they’re getting the return investment they put into it as well (not to mention the money I paid…). Seeing something that is super duper sculpted with a shitty, breezy paint job, it just feels…wrong somehow.

And hey, that’s how it is with writing. I’ve always taken it seriously, but I put more time into it now. I take the outline, writing, editing and even submission process very seriously. Compared to how I did it ten years ago, I feel like a true professional (despite not getting professional pay rates!).

I might write something for fun here and there, but I’m not joking around with stories either. I want this to be something that in five, ten, or whatever years I’ll be proud to pull out and say “I wrote this.” Not something that’s laughable and cute for the time I wrote it in.

It’s not rocket science. Take things a little more seriously, put a little bit more effort into it, and you’ll see better results. Not only from yourself, but others as well. The difference between five minutes can lead to a lifetime of good results, and that’s what I’m happy to have learned, even from painting a little plastic figurine.

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